Below are some of the most frequent questions people ask about psychology sessions:

Do I need a referral?
How long is a session?
What rebates are available?
Do you offer bulk billing?
I have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Can I access rebates?
Do I need to pay for counselling after a work-related injury or illness?
How many sessions do I need to attend?
Are all discussions confidential?
What happens at the first appointment?
What payment options do I have?
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
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DO I NEED A REFERRAL?
Generally, you do not need a referral to access psychology services.

However, if you want to claim Medicare rebates you need to have a referral from your GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician, and a Mental Health Treatment Plan, as applicable.

If you want to claim rebates from your private health fund for psychology services under your "Extras" cover, please check with the private health fund directly to confirm if they require a referral or not.

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HOW LONG IS A SESSION?
One standard session is 55-60 minutes long. See the fees and rebates page for the applicable consultation fees.

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WHAT REBATES ARE AVAILABLE?

MEDICARE REBATES (UP TO 10 SESSIONS PER YEAR)
Medicare rebates are available for a range of issues.

How it works:
You pay the full fee for the session (our fees are sliding scale based on income, see the fees and rebates page for details) and we provide you with a tax receipt, that you can take to Medicare to claim the rebate. There is a limit of 10 sessions per calendar year (January to December) for which you can claim rebates.

More information:
Read more about Medicare rebates and eligibility in the APS Factsheet "Medicare rebates for mental health services provided by psychologists" (download PDF).

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE

If you have private health insurance, you may also be eligible for rebates for psychology services under your "Extras" cover. Most of the private health funds provide psychology rebates. You need to check your level of cover with your private health fund before claiming.

How it works:
You pay for the session and we provide you with a tax receipt, which you can take to your private health fund to claim the rebate.

Please note, you cannot use private insurance rebates for the same sessions for which you claim Medicare rebates. Some clients choose to use their private insurance rebates after their Medicare rebates are used.

You may be eligible for the medical expenses tax offset at the end of the financial year. Speak to your tax adviser or accountant to see if you qualify.

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DO YOU OFFER BULK BILLING?

Bulk billing is available to Disability Support Pension or New Start Allowance recipients, with a valid GP or psychiatrist referral. Bulk billed sessions can be booked during business hours only, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Please let us know if you require bulk billing when you make your first appointment, and bring a proof of eligibility to the first session.

With this option no upfront or gap payment is payable, we will bulk bill Medicare for sessions with you. Note that there is a limit of maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year (January to December), and that limit includes sessions you may have had with another psychologist since the start of the year.

Medicare Bulk Bill conditions:
Because this is a heavily discounted fee that we offer to clients experiencing financial difficulties, we also require commitment from those clients to attend their booked sessions. Bulk billed clients who fail to show up for a session, who cancel a session with less than 24hr notice or who cancel two consecutive sessions, no matter the notice given, will lose this advantage and will not be bulk billed for subsequent sessions.

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I HAVE AN OVERSEAS STUDENT HEALTH COVER (OSHC). CAN I ACCESS REBATES?

OSHC is a private health insurance for international/overseas students, and similar rules regarding rebates for psychology services apply as for all private health insurance.
This means that, depending on your level of cover, you may be able to access rebates for psychology sessions. Please contact your OSHC provider regarding the actual amounts and limits which may apply.

How it works:
You pay for the session and we provide you with a tax receipt, which you can take to your private health fund to claim the rebate.
Please contact your OSHC provider before coming to session, and check with them if you need a GP referral to claim rebates, and what rebate amount you can get.

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DO I NEED TO PAY FOR COUNSELLING AFTER A WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS?
Following a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to receive some compensations for the treatment expenses. WorkSafe Victoria can pay for a variety of medical and like services, including psychology, provided that you have an approved claim with them.

How it works:
You do not pay for the sessions. Instead, we invoice the WorkSafe agent who approved your claim.

For more information on how to make a claim following a work-related injury or illness please call WorkSafe or see their website: Victorian WorkCover Authority

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HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I NEED TO ATTEND?
That depends on the nature of the issue which brings you to therapy. Some people need to attend just a few sessions, while others need long term therapy.

People who come with a valid referral from a medical practitioner (GP, psychiatrist or paediatrician) may be able to access Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual sessions per calendar year (Jan to Dec).

The frequency of the therapy sessions is also very important and weekly sessions have been shown to be the most effective.

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ARE ALL DISCUSSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?
The information exchanged during the psychology sessions is highly confidential.

Information about you or your problem will never be divulged, unless:
1. You specifically authorize in writing the release of that information;
2. The release of that information is to protect you or others from harm; or
3. The release of that information is required by law (e.g. Court order).

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WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE FIRST APPOINTMENT?
At your first appointment, you will be asked to fill in an Intake form containing some general questions about yourself, and you will have the opportunity to describe the problem/s which bring you to therapy.

Please be sure you arrive on time for your first appointment. We reserve the time for you so if you arrive late you will lose part of that time.

If, for any reason, you cannot attend your first appointment, please let us know as soon as possible, so the appointment time can be offered to another client on the waiting list.

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WHAT PAYMENT OPTIONS DO I HAVE?

  • Cash
  • EFTPOS
  • Credit Card (Visa or Mastercard)
Face to face sessions:
Payment is required in full on the day of the consultation. We will provide you with a tax receipt that you can take to a Medicare office or to your private health fund and claim the rebate.

DVA, TAC, WorkSafe and VOCAT clients:
No payment is required from you. The applicable third party would be invoiced for the sessions with you, provided that your claim is approved prior to coming to psychology sessions.

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WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL AN APPOINTMENT?
If you have an appointment that you cannot attend, you may cancel it via phone, email or SMS/text message, with at least 24 hours in advance.

Because making an appointment means we keep a space in the diary for you and we do not make that time available to other clients, you would be charged a $50 cancellation fee for sessions cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.

Please note that Medicare and private health insurance do not cover cancellation fees.

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DEFAULT ACCOUNTS

If you make an arrangement to pay at a later date (e.g. via direct deposit) and then fail to pay the account within 28 days, you will be in default of payment. A $5.00 charge will be levied for each reminder email or letter sent to you. This charge will be added to your account.

If the account is not paid after receiving two reminder emails or letters then your debt will be referred to our debt collection agency and you will be liable for all costs which would be incurred as if the debt is collected in full, including legal demand costs.

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